State Advocates

Volunteer State Advocates coordinate outreach, build alliances and provide
education and training in their states. Your State Advocate is your first
line of contact if you want to get involved, volunteer, schedule a training
or find out about Leave No Trace events locally. Find your State Advocate


Mandy Pearson

Mandy Pearson is a naturalist with Cheaha State Park (Alabama State Parks). She holds a B.S. degree in Ecology and Forensics from and a M.S. degree in Biology from Jacksonville State University. Mandy was a Zoo Keeper in the Children’s Zoo, where she cared for, trained and presented programs with native, domestic and exotic animals for 6 years. She worked with the JSU Field Schools for 9 years. To learn more about conservation, she volunteered with the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife, and the US Forest Service. Currently she is the Naturalist at Cheaha State Park. For the past 5 years she has been building an environmental education program through constructing campgrounds, trails, events, workshops, classes, campfire talks, and partnerships. It is her hope that environmental education will serve as a bridge for all visitors to reconnect with the beauty, harmony, balance, and tranquility of nature.


Beth Keune

Hello Arizona! This is Beth in Phoenix and I love to hike, paddle, backpack, and be outdoors! My favorite adventure is hiking rim-to-rim in the Grand Canyon. My goal for Arizona is to increase the awareness of Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics by creating new opportunities for awareness workshops and training, hosting volunteer events, sharing examples of Leave No Trace stewardship on social media, providing educators opportunities to connect, and more. I welcome your ideas and help! Please reach out if you would like more information, to volunteer, or to discuss a challenge or great example of Leave No Trace practices in Arizona.


Little Rock

Rob was born in Little Rock and graduated from Catholic High School for Boys and from Rhodes College at Memphis. He is the CFO of Pharmacy Management Services, which specializes in institutional and hospital pharmacy management. Currently, he serves as the chairman of the Arkansas River Trail Task Force. Rob volunteers as a Leave No Trace for Outdoor Ethics master educator and also serve as the Arkansas state advocate. He serves on the board of the Arkansas Climbers Coalition as treasurer. He is an Eagle Scout and volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America in which I have served in capacities including scoutmaster, trainer for climbing and camping outdoor skills and in 2012 received the William T. Hornaday Award. His wife Phoebe and he have two sons who live in Colorado.


John Prelip
Shingle Springs

I grew up in Mariposa County, home to one of the most beautiful National Parks, Yosemite. I didn’t spend much time exploring beyond the parking lot and never imagined I would purposely walk miles and miles off the beaten track to explore the back country. This all changed when my wife Angela convinced me to go on my first hike, to the top of Yosemite Falls. I would like to say the experience was wonderful and I had the time of my life, but it really wasn’t. At the completion of the hike I finally understood why Angela enjoyed hiking. I saw Yosemite in a way that I never thought was possible, spent true quality time with Angela and caught the hiking bug. Seventeen years later I have visited over 200 National Parks, Monuments and Historic sites. I have hiked to the top of Half Dome and Mt. Whitney seven times and backpacked the John Muir Trail twice.
Today I am a Leave No Trace Master Educator, trail guide with the Tahoe Rim Trail Association, docent and board member for the Eldorado National Forest Interpretive Association, volunteer for the Golden Empire Council, BSA teaching Outdoor Ethics and an Exploring Advisor for El Dorado County Sheriff Explorers POST 457.
California is home to many high impacted backpacking and hiking trails including the Pacific Crest Trail. Exploring the outdoors has sky rocketed and along with that comes a greater need for awareness of Leave No Trace principles. Through partnerships, I hope to build the Leave No Trace Trainer pool which will increase outreach awareness, training and workshops. Hopefully through this effort, generations to come will be able to visit and experience the natural beauty that we all love today.
I encourage you to contact me if you live in California and are interested in supporting, volunteering or becoming more involved in Leave No Trace outreach. Please email me your questions, comments and concerns.


Kristen Sherwood
Woodland Park

Growing up in the transitional plains-to-peaks environment of Colorado's central Front Range, I developed a love of the land and all its processes by spending most of my young years outside, devouring the literary works of environmentalists such as Aldo Leopold, Rick Bass and Ed Abbey, and road-tripping to every corner of the state with my dogs in tow. I returned to school at at 25 to pursue a degree in Natural Resources. After working as a cave guide, a naturalist, and a Colorado State Park Ranger for several years, I began teaching ecologically-based courses at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, CO. Currently, I am the Department Chair for the Outdoor Leadership and Recreation Technology degree program at PPCC, and I am relishing passing on the land ethic to my diverse body of students. I live at 10,300 feet at the foot of Pikes Peak in an off-grid home, where I am teaching my two beautiful kids what it means to use and love the land simultaneously. I have been incorporating Leave No Trace into nearly every aspect of my life for over 15 years, and I am excited to be able to share the principles with a broader audience throughout our amazing state. I am always available to share information, education, activities and resources -- please email or call and let me help you facilitate Leave No Trace education with your friends, family and organizations!


Jay Dement

There are many external and internal threats to our public lands whose aggregate impacts threaten the pristine natural environments. The seven principles of the Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics guide us to preserve the natural beauty of our back country and to help insure the protection so many can enjoy these wonders for generations to come.

We have been extremely fortunate that our fore fathers saw the importance of protecting the environment and established protected areas such through legislation as National Parks and the Wilderness Act. Consider that these natural resources are our country’s most valuable asset and their protection becomes paramount.

With backcountry visitation increasing every year people need to be educated on how their behavior directly affects the viability of the resources they came to enjoy. Visitors need to become responsible for their actions so they don’t leave things in ruin. We see, through education comes understanding that leads to protection. Who can argue against these principles?

The Leave No Trace ethics are a decision making process on how we can minimize our impact on the environment whether it is the back country, frontcountry walking down the street or at home. Most of the principles are basic common sense and with some, people need a better understanding of their total impact and how to minimize their influence.


Eric Fulks
Captain Cook

Aloha Everyone-
I was born and raised in Richmond VA, and have lived many other places on the planet. My journey has led me here to Hawaii where I spend my time caretaking land. I am an experienced builder whose passion is in teamwork and alternative designs. I love Adventure and feel of purpose when there is a problem to find solutions for.
Hawaii is a great place to embody Leave No Trace and it is where I want to live upon the Earth. A state of Aloha. Everything from eating home grown organics to living a minimum carbon footprint. Living light means living free. With more free time, means more doing things that I love doing. Like hiking waterfalls or dodging lava flows....
In 2014 I helped co-found an educational business known as The Artizen School ( where people can experience team building by stewarding the planet we live on responsibly together, This includes...Leave No Trace.
My hobbies include: slacklining, meditation, dancing, and spending time with my girlfriend.
The vision of a planet united in love and peace is what drives my intentions.


Erik Lund

I began backpacking as a youth in 1971 and have never lost my appreciation for the wilderness. Some of the things I like: The smell of the pine and the crunch of decomposing granite on the mountain trail. Incredible wide open vistas and brilliant geologic colors of desert canyons. The surprise discovery of prehistoric petroglyphs on basalt boulders. The smell of sage after a hard rain in the desert. The late night yipping contest of coyotes. The long haunting howl of a wolf. The piercing bugle of a bull elk. The quiet of a snow covered campsite.

The balance between a comfortable camp and a comfortable hike has tipped towards the latter as I have gone to ultra light, reducing my pack weight from 46 to 28 lbs. I have become accustomed to sleeping in a tent hammock and cooking over an alcohol stove.

My involvement with Leave No Trace began with a Trainer course through the Ore-Ida Boy Scout Council in Boise, followed by the Master Educator course at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. I enjoy sharing the message with youth and adults at all levels, trailside moments, awareness sessions, and both Trainer and ME courses. Practical how-to tips are always a part of my presentations. Most gratifying is seeing informed outdoor enthusiasts struggle to make the right choices based on competing principles.

My goal as state advocate is to assess the level of desired involvement by Trainers and ME's and to help them achieve it, create educational opportunities, work with Idaho land managers on Leave No Trace issues and be a resource to bring outdoor ethics education to Idaho.


Steve Gariepy


William Houk

I am an avid camper, hiker, birder and angler. I have been an active Leave No Trace educator for over ten years working with Indiana State Parks, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and other organizations. I know many of these people and they come to LNT from a diverse background; hikers, campers, equestrians, mountain bikers, kayakers, anglers and hunters. The strength of the Leave No Trace program is its adaptability to different environments and activities. One of my goals, as state advocate, is to reach across all these lines and share our enthusiasm for Leave No Trace!


John Winter
Shell Rock

I am a native Iowan. I became a Leave No Trace Master Educator in 1998, and am committed to spread the good word about Leave No Trace through awareness events, trainer courses, and Master Educator courses. As a primary food producing state, the iowa landscape has been heavily developed for commercial agriculture. This makes our natural areas very precious and worthy of our best efforts to protect them. I hope to be able to bring people together to help raise awareness of our beautiful natural areas and to learn together what we can do to preserve them for future generations of Iowans.


Mike Schmitt

Living in Kansas all of my life I have seen a lot of change and in that change I have seen a lot of opportunity and in that opportunity I have also seen neglect. I have actively stepped forward to be your Kansas State Advocate in hopes to make a positive influence on the youth of today that that will be the leaders of tomorrow. I have always been active in the great outdoors as a kid and as an adult I find myself camping at least every month with either the Boy Scout troop or Venturing Crew I am a part of. My two boys that are involved in Scouts, the youngest is a Life scout working on his Eagle and the oldest which has already earned his Eagle. Being involved as much as I am has been my driving force to help make a difference on how we handle ourselves while front country and back country camping.

Being introduced to caring about the environment at a young age, my grandfather would take my brother and me fishing and was careful to never leave an impact for the next person. Continuing this type of ethical belief every time I camped and hunted was in a way practicing Leave No Trace and it was not until 2014 when I received my Leave No Trace Trainer and in 2015 my Leave no Trace Master Educator training did it all come together. I am very involved in both Boy Scouts and Venturing always looking for teachable moments. I enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, geocaching and photography, well anything that gets me outdoors. Currently I serve as the Outdoor Ethics Advocate for the Heart of America Council for BSA and find the group of trainers in our council to be great people to work with and look forward to our program growing.

I am very excited and prepared to help share my knowledge and skills with others, in addition to learning from them as well. Leave No Trace is and always will be a needed set of skills and ethics for all people to carry and use throughout our lives. I am glad to be your State Advocate for Kansas and look forward and answering questions or working with you in the future to make the difference. So please send me your questions along with any comments and concerns.


Brian Clark

I am very excited to be the Leave No Trace State Advocate for Kentucky. I am currently an Assistant Professor at Eastern Kentucky University in the Department of Recreation & Park Administration. I have worked with many local groups, non-profits, parks and federal land management agencies to spread the word of Leave No Trace and look forward to continuing to increase awareness at the state level. Kentucky has a tremendous amount of outdoor recreation opportunities and with that comes an importance to recreate responsibly so that these opportunities can be there for our future generations. The mission of Leave No Trace is more important now than ever before and I look forward to helping the state of Kentucky educate and inspire those who come here to enjoy our wonderful natural areas. (This photo is of me and a St. Simons Island Tree Spirit).


Paul Schimke

Hello, and thank you for checking out how you can get involved in Leave No Trace in Maryland and DC. As the LNT Center's Maryland State Advocate, I'm here to represent the Center to you, and I'm here to represent your needs to the Center. As an active LNT Master I've built relationships with many interested individuals and organizations. I'm looking forward to getting to know even more people as State Advocate.
As much as I love my time out in the backcountry, far away from everyone, I'm particularly excited by the Leave No Trace Frontcountry and Leave No Trace in Every Park initiatives. Most of us in Maryland and DC live in developed areas, and these programs are focused right where most of us can have the most impact.
I have two principal goals as the Maryland State Advocate. First, I want to encourage more people and organizations to both learn about and share the Leave No Trace message. Second, I want to hear from the people who are sharing that message (you!) to learn what the Center can do to help you to be more effective.
If you are interested in learning more about how Leave No Trace can help you do your part to protect the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly, I'm here to help you.
If you're teaching others about Leave No Trace and you could use some help or pointers, or have feedback to give the Center, I'm here to help you. I'll do all I can to help you to find the resources you need.
Please do contact me! I’m truly looking forward to hearing from you.


Jordan Bruursema
Mount Pleasant

Greetings from the great state of Michigan! My name is Jordan Bruursema and I am honored to be your Leave No Trace state advocate. I have been involved with Leave No Trace since the early 2000’s when I took my first trainer course in Leadville, CO. Since then, I have traveled the country and world exploring the outdoors, exposing others to the wonders of our natural world as an outdoor guide and educator. My education background includes a degree from Colorado Mountain College in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Central Michigan University, both with a focus in outdoor recreation. Whether it be through a whitewater rafting trip, a rock climbing experience, or a backpacking expedition, seeing someone develop a passion and respect for nature is what really drives me. In 2011, I became a master educator and have the privilege of teaching multiple trainer courses every year in my role as an outdoor recreation faculty member at Central Michigan University. As the Leave No Trace advocate for Michigan, I hope to help foster a love and respect of nature in every generation of Michigander, to ensure the health and natural beauty of our great state and beyond! Let’s connect and do something great together! Cheers!


Teri Fick

Greetings from Teri Fick, the Minnesota State Advocate. I am so honored to be in this role and carry on the impressive legacy that Rita Hussman, the former state advocate worked passionately to get in place. Rita remains a dedicated volunteer in MN and we are so fortunate to have her network of Leave No Trace practitioners. We have an absolutely awesome group of volunteers, most of whom are Leave No Trace Master Educators, that have collectively made great strides in spreading the Leave No Trace message in our fabulous state.
Outdoor recreation is HUGE in Minnesota. We are very proud of our natural resources. At the top of the list, of course, is the water – after all we are the “Land of 10,000 lakes,” and that number only counts the big lakes! The headwaters of the Mighty Mississippi River and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area just might be our greatest claims to water fame, but we also have a total of five National Park Service units to add to our list of incredible outdoor assets! There is no question about how wonderful Minnesota is!
Impact-wise, there is always room for improvement. No one gets into the BWCA without Leave No Trace Education. In fact, we just issued a new BWCA hangtag. We are very excited to get that out into the hands of partners and suppliers around the BWCA area. We have several Leave No Trace Trainers and Master Educators on staff with the state department of natural resources as well as the National Park Service. We are also fortunate to work with multiple partners and supportive agencies throughout the state. Growing these partnerships and educating more folks about Leave No Trace is what motivates our Minnesota Chapter volunteers to forge forward. We are always seeking new opportunities to bring Leave No Trace to every Minnesotan in every outdoor recreation place. If you would like to join the Leave No Trace movement or want to request our help with your own efforts, please contact me or any one of us listed on this page.

My background and education are in Toxicology and Public Health. I have worked at 3M company in St. Paul for over 30 years. I am passionate about environmental education. I found Rita one day when I was doing research for my BSA Woodbadge. Our patrol was working on the BSA environmental awards. The rest is history…Rita and I became fast friends and comrades in the MN Leave No Trace effort. I completed my ME course in 2010. Since then I have taught many trainer courses across MN and co-taught the ME course several times as well. I am looking forward continuing the great work that we are doing here in MN!


Amberleigh Hammond

Amberleigh is a Safety and Systems Manager and functions as the national medical screener for the Student Conservation Association (SCA). Her primary focus is screening, leader training, compliance with field standards, and incident management/response. Prior to the SCA, Amberleigh was at Outward Bound for six years as the national senior medical screener for OBUSA. Amberleigh teaches Outdoor Emergency Care, wilderness medicine courses, Mental Health First Aid, is an EMT, Leave No Trace Master Educator and ski patroller.


Kathryn Fithian

After spending most of my life in Colorado, I relocated to a small town in Northern Nevada called Winnemucca where I live now. In a state that is approximately 84% public land, outdoor recreation is very popular. Unfortunately, not everyone who steps foot on our public lands has been introduced to responsible recreation practices. Sadly, if our public lands continue to be mistreated, they face potential restrictions and even closure. As the Leave No Trace Nevada state advocate, I am excited to work with my community to see what they feel Nevada needs in the way of Leave No Trace, and to do everything I can to help fill those needs.

New Hampshire

Robert Holdsworth

I’m a native of Concord, New Hampshire and had my first experience in the White Mountains at the age of 12 while on a trip with a summer camp. I will never forget that first morning waking up near the Lake of the Clouds Hut and seeing the Mount Washington Valley below. Even at that age, I was moved by the natural beauty and grandeur. Since then I’ve hiked throughout New Hampshire, the Sierra Nevada, the Shenandoah Mountains and made two successful ascents of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. While it’s always exciting to get to the top, I have always found deep peace and relaxation from my time in the woods.

I received my certification as a Leave No Trace Master Educator in 2009. Since then I’ve spoken to groups, conducted workshops and written articles to educate people about best practices and the principles of Leave No Trace. What I’ve found is most people care about their impact, but are not completely aware of the cumulative effect. I believe our role as Trainers and Educators is to help them to see what the impact is and teach methods and techniques to minimize that impact both today and for future generations. At each session I like to close with 3 requests – take care of yourself, take care of each other and take care of this place.

When I’m not hiking, I’m an avid road cyclist, cross-country skier, enjoy snowshoeing and photography.

New Jersey

Joseph Dera

Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, one would not expect there would be an opportunity to experience the true outdoors. I was lucky enough to spend most summer days growing up exploring woods and parks very near to my home. Spending part of my teenager years in a remote part of Maine made me further appreciate the outdoors and nature. My involvement with Boy Scouts helped amplify the connection to the outdoors with camping trips and the duty we have to maintain it with such things as service projects and outdoor ethics.

The state of New Jersey is unique compared to many other states. It has parks for every type of geographical characteristic and category. Whether it is the famous beaches, mountains, forests, historic, water ways or some combination of those, there is a type of park for everyone to visit. Tourism is a big part of New Jersey and this has an impact on the environment.

There are exciting and potentially new opportunities with the progress of technology. Technology can leveraged and integrated with the outdoors. It can help get us closer to the goals of Leave No Trace. One of my goals as New Jersey State Advocate is to stress and bring attention to others about those technologies that can help with Leave No Trace. Additionally I will focus on outreach to the youth to motivate and encourage them to pursue the principles of Leave No Trace. For example visiting camps, such as Halgas Scout Reservation, that focus on Leave No Trace to practice techniques. Lastly, to reach out to local New Jersey organizations and government how they can assist in bringing Leave No Trace to the general community, how it benefits everyone.

Please feel free to contact with me with any questions, support needs or volunteer information. I would like to partner with you to take Leave No Trace in New Jersey to new heights.

North Carolina

Meredith Blackwood

I am excited to represent The Center as the NC Sate Advocate! From the mountains to the coast, this state has so much to offer outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. My desire to take on this position stems from my love of this state and wanting to preserve it for future generations to enjoy.

My first introduction to Leave No Trace was upon the introduction in 2010 of the youth LNT Trainer leadership position within the Boy Scouts of America. I quickly realized that our youth would need more avenues to get the required training for this position, so I completed my ME course in May of 2011. Becoming an ME, in turn, led me on my next adventure in becoming the first Outdoor Ethics Advocate within the Occoneechee Council, and thus creating the council’s outdoor ethics education program. Since then, I have taught numerous trainer courses and workshops to youth and adults from across the state, both inside and outside of scouting.

My aim as the State Advocate is to be a guide for the states Master Educators, Trainers and public and private organizations in an effort to ensure that the LNT message resonates throughout this beautiful state. I believe that teaching our youth, both inside and outside of scouting, is the best way to promote outdoor ethics as they are major influencers of their peers and the adults who associate with them. I would love to see more LNT outreach, trainings, and workshops being held throughout the state by our ME’s and trainers, so let’s work as a team to get the word out! I encourage anyone or any organization looking to explore or expand their interest in outdoor ethics, environmental stewardship and/or responsible outdoor recreation to reach out to me.

“Ethical behavior is doing the right thing when no one else is watching – even when doing the wrong thing in legal” – Aldo Leopold


Douglas Wagoner

I’ve been an outdoor enthusiast since birth and found my passion for environment stewardship when I was a young Boy Scout. I formally began teaching Leave No Trace in 1995, became State Advocate in 2002, and an active Master Educator since 2003.

My goal is to continue bringing awareness and education about our impacts in both urban and wild places. The biggest challenge in accomplishing this goal is making people aware that there are better ways to recreate without taking away the enjoyment of the outdoors. To help or learn more, please reach out.


Kayla Miles

Hey! I am Kayla an avid hiker, backpacker, a novice kayaker, and am obsessed with my dog Quinn. I grew up in Sacramento, California and after completing my degree in Parks and Recreation Management, I moved to beautiful Portland, Oregon. I have always had a love for the outdoors but it wasn’t until college that my passion for the environment and outdoor education turned into a lifestyle. I incorporate Leave No Trace into pretty much every aspect of my life, from picking up trash on my hikes or identifying those teachable moments with family and friends. I am currently a Park Ranger and Master Educator. I assisted with the implementation of the Leave No Trace Hot Spot Week in Portland and am currently introducing Leave No Trace principles and ethics into an Urban Park environment, with a focus on pet waste and how to recreate responsibly with pets in our natural areas. As the State Advocate for Oregon I hope to build relationships with other Master Educators, reach underserved and diverse communities, provided education and information on Leave No Trace principles and ethics, and to arrange trainings throughout the state.


Marian Orlousky

I’m a Pennsylvania native, born and raised in Boiling Springs PA. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of exploring the Yellow Breeches Creek and forest behind my house until the summer sun went down and the cicadas began to sing. I’ve been captivated by the beauty and complexity of our natural world for as long as I can remember, and that has translated into a passion for connecting others to their environment. I believe you have to first experience and understand nature before you can learn to appreciate and protect it.
I attended Juniata College in PA, where I received a B.S. in Biology. I then served as a Student Conservation Association (SCA) seasonal Natural Resource Technician at Valley Forge National Historical Park, during which time I decided I wanted a career in managing and protecting our ever dwindling natural areas. I went on to receive a Master’s in Ecology from the State University of New York - School of Environmental Science & Forestry (SUNY-ESF) and I now work for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) in Boiling Springs, PA (of all places) as a Natural Resource Manager for the northern half of the Appalachian Trail.
I enjoy nearly every type of outdoor recreation (shy of base jumping), with my favorites being caving, hiking, and skiing. I fell in love with the practice of Leave No Trace when I first took my Master Educator course in 2014, and have been working to incorporate Leave No Trace principles into everything we do here at the ATC. As the Leave No Trace PA Advocate I hope to foster the same love and respect for nature that came to me as a young child and continues to develop with me though every stage of my life. I look forward to working with you!

Rhode Island

Bob Sirhal

Bob graduated from Fordham University and earned an MBA from Boston College. He is an executive with a supplier to the college bookstores and military exchanges nationwide. Currently, he serves as the volunteer chairman of the Philmont Training Center in northeast New Mexico.
Bob volunteers as a Leave No Trace for Outdoor Ethics master educator and also serves as the Rhode Island state advocate. He is a member the board of the Rhode Island Organ Donors Coalition, and is a former chairman of the Rhode Island Ducks Unlimited Chapter. He is a long-time volunteer with the Boy Scouts at the council, area, region and national levels in which I have served as a trainer and instructional designer in leadership, outdoor skills and advance leadership skills, as well as a leader for national and world jamborees.
The goal is to expand the reach of Leave No Trace in the state to our education, civic and other youth serving organizations. And to further the conversation on how best to reach our youngest school age children to start the interest in the outdoors and how we can all make a difference by thinking before take an action in the outdoors.
His wife Sallie and he have three sons who live in Florida, Washington State and South Carolina.

South Carolina

Brittney Elamon White

Hello everyone! I am very excited to be the SC State Advocate! To give you a little background on myself, I was born and raised in Evansville, IN where I used to spend most of my time in the woods hiking, climbing trees, and riding my family four-wheeler through trails. To further my love for the outdoors I took my passion and applied it to my Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Science at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Florida. My true love is the ocean and all marine creatures, but as long as I am outdoors I’m free and happy.
I received a full ride college scholarship to Jacksonville University through the Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC). Upon graduation and commission as a Naval Officer I was stationed in Norfolk, VA onboard the USS RAMAGE (DDG 61), an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. I spent my 4 years of service onboard the RAMAGE doing various leadership and management positions through two 8 month long deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf.
My husband Alec, our two cats, and I have moved to South Carolina for my current positon as the Partnership and Volunteer Coordinator with the Forest Service at Sumter National Forest, Andrew Pickens Ranger District. I am in an internship designed for veterans called VetsWork with the Mt. Adams Institute through AmeriCorps to help with the transitioning process from active duty military to civilian life. This internship has given me the opportunity to help the environment, serve others through education, and become exposed to the awesome world that is Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics.
My new internship working with the Forest Service is how I was first introduced to Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics and I have been hooked ever since. I have gone from zero training or experience with Leave No Trace when I started my internship in March if 2017 to becoming a certified Leave No Trace Master Educator as of September 2017. I am still new when it comes to Leave No Trace, but I am excited to bring my passion for the outdoors to the table and I am looking forward to working with everyone who is equally as passionate about preserving our lands.

South Dakota

Tracy Sigdestad

Although I was raised in the city, I have been a nature girl at heart and was lucky to have parents who liked to travel. Having a childhood filled with hiking and camping experiences, instilled a lifelong love of the outdoors and respect for our environment. As a mother of three, I try to pass this on to my children, as I feel it is of great benefit to them.
I have a degree in Outdoor Education and Earth Science and work for Game, Fish, and Parks. I currently work on the Mickelson Trail in spring and summer, and snowmobile trails in the fall and winter. My duties on the Mickelson Trail range from maintenance to public relations and interpretive/naturalist programs. I love every aspect of the job, as it keeps me out in the beautiful hills and gives me a chance to bring environmental awareness to the community. I am trained in programs such as Project Learning Tree, Aldo Leopold Education Project, Project WET, and Project Wildm and am a certified Wilderness First Responder. My hobbies include, hiking, camping(especially backcountry), and photography.
Leave No Trace is something I have always believed in, even as a child, before I even knew what it was. It just made good sense to practice this ethic and be respectful of our natural environment, so it is here for many generations to enjoy. I hope to raise more awareness regarding Leave No Trace among the people of South Dakota and am very excited to be the State Advocate.


Christine Hoyer

I grew up in the Garden State and spent much of my childhood playing outside, exploring the wood as a Girl Scout and traveling to western National Parks on summer family vacations. Along my life's journey, I earned college degrees in Psychology and Philosophy and a Graduate Certificate in Wilderness Management through the University of Montana. My passion for the outdoors initially became my career in 2005 as I set off to lead trail crews on the southern-third of the Appalachian Trail. That is where I received my first formal training in Leave No Trace. In 2008 I joined the ranks of the National Park Service and have had the privilege, since that point, to work within the boundaries of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As the Backcountry Management Specialist, I manage all aspects of the recreational experience (in a very high use park!) – trip planning/education, permitting, use levels/patterns, maintaining sites/structures in the backcountry and monitoring/mitigating impacts. A critical part of my role is to coordinate (and continue to grow) the park’s robust Leave No Trace efforts, through visitor contacts, training and outreach. To ensure that I had a solid foundation to manage the Leave No Trace efforts, I completed Master Educator courses in both the standard and stock-specific curriculum. As an avid hiker and backpacker, I am passionate about protecting resources (of all kinds – green-spaces, community parks, state parks, national parks) and feel a responsibility to connect people to these places and to do what I can to provide the information people need to make good, low-impact, decisions. I am excited to have the opportunity bring my background and skills into play to serve as the State Advocate for Tennessee. I look forward to being a resource and collaborating with trainers/educators, organizations and anyone with an interest to extend Leave No Trace efforts across the state!


Andre Houser and Robert Gates

Andre Houser
HI! My name is Andre Houser, and I’m one of the two (count ‘em, two) Leave No Trace State Advocates in Texas. (Since everything is always bigger in Texas, we needed two advocates).

I grew up in Northwest Arkansas, where I learned to hunt, fish and roam the woods at an early age, and developed my love for things outdoors. I spent a few years in the Scouts, where I camped under what is now Beaver Lake, and spent summers at Camp Orr on the Buffalo National River.

I first learned of Leave No Trace in a Powder Horn course at Rancho El Cima in Texas. Charlie Thorpe was the Leave No Trace Consultant for that course. Shortly thereafter, I took a Trainer Course in Dallas’ Circle Ten Council, BSA. I wanted MORE, so I went to Philmont for my ME course, led by Dan Howells, Eric Hiser, Jim Karrol, and David Downing (Charlie Thorpe appeared somewhere in the middle). While there I was introduced to the magic of Brownies in an outback oven (Thanks Dan).

Since then I have served as co-Director of about 25 Leave No Trace Trainer courses, and have helped train about 250 Leave No Trace Trainers in Texas. I’m currently a member of the Sierra Club an am a certified Texas Master Naturalist.

My two sons are Eagle Scouts, and my daughter is a Girl Scout Silver. We love to camp, where I do most of the cooking in dutch ovens, my other passion (yes, I belong to LSDOS and IDOS), and meet regularly with a group of dutch oven folks for food, fun, and fellowship.

As one of your two State Advocates, I hope to keep up the good work of our predecessor and expand the program into the Texas Master Naturalist program and into the dutch oven cooking community. Since I am a municipal employee, I also hope to reach out to the parks and recreation departments in Texas, and help them realize the value of the Leave No Trace principles.
Feel free to contact me anytime with your ideas or if you have questions or need assistance.

Bob Gates
HI! My name is Bob Gates, and I’m the other one of the two (count ‘em, two) Leave No Trace State Advocates in Texas. (Since everything is always bigger in Texas, we needed two advocates). We have decided not to split this great State of ours rather to tag team the State to reach as many people as possible that way.

I grew up in Southern Illinois, near the Mississippi flyway and Shawnee National Forest with many State Parks within easy driving distance. Our family was always in the outdoors picnicking, hiking or camping in Southern Illinois and in every state east of the Mississippi. Learning to enjoy being comfortable roaming in the woods and playing in the creeks. When I started working out of college I got to take my first trip out West driving the long route to Seattle, then through many of the National Parks in Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas getting to work in many locations for 6 to 8 months at a time. Then a big move to Connecticut just off the edge of the Appalachian Trail and the Long Island Sound.

I took my Minimal Impact Camping Instructor course with the AMC (5 day program) in the 1980’s and learned more to improve my Backpacking, Climbing and Challenge Course instructor skills. David Bates, at the time with the National Boy Scouts office and responsible for the many BSA Outdoor Programs introduced me to Leave No Trace in the mid 1990;s. When the Boy Scouts were approved to be a provider of Leave No Trace Master Educator courses. I was a participant in the second BSA National Master Educator Course led by among others Ben Lawhon of the Center. During this time period I was also a co-instructor at the Philmont Training Center for an Outdoor Program course with the participants becoming not only Trek Leader Trained but also becoming Leave No Trace Trainers. WOW what a fun filled backpacking trip for a week with many late night “campfire” sessions learning and talking about Outdoor Ethics and Land Management.
Since then I have served as a co-Director of about 25 BSA Leave No Trace Trainer course (many with Andre Houser and Mel Tome), about 15 Leave No Trace Trainer courses with Texas City employees, ISD employees and church youth groups. Having helped train about 350 Leave No Trace Trainers. I have also been an instructor in a number of Leave No Trace Master Educator courses with the BSA and other providers. And have had the opportunity to provide Leave No Trace Awareness courses in my trips around much of the US, Canada, Mexico, Porto Rico and Costa Rica; plus with many School and Church youth groups.

My wife and I have helped coordinate Car Camping trips with the Sierra Club all around the great State of Texas. And have taken Scout and Church groups to many of our great State Parks, Refuge Management Areas, National Parks and Conservation areas. Rafting, climbing, hiking, backpacking and in Texas just plain old driving this great State.

My Outdoor Ethics Leave No Trace Objective is to reach out to as many of our citizens as possible to help them learn more of the Land Ethic. This maybe in our cities and more populated area in city parks and close in state parks. And out West in the vast areas were we might see a cow in a few square miles. In the Rio Grande Valley, along our Gulf Coastline, in the Panhandle and in the Piney Forests. And hopefully with our citizens in the Austin area and with those in the pink dome. As one of your two State Advocates, I hope to keep up the good work of our predecessor and expand our reach across the state.
Feel free to contact me anytime with your ideas or if you have questions or need assistance.


Adam Tobey

A Utah transplant from Virginia, Adam fell in love with the mountain landscape upon visiting the West and developed an immediate passion for protecting it. Together with his spouse, he founded Arcadia Guided Outdoor Education, which offers adventure camps and backpacking trips for young people and focuses on the practice of Leave No Trace principles in the wilderness and in the students’ neighborhoods. Aside from finding great enjoyment hiking and backpacking in the mountains, Adam also enjoys climbing and mountaineering, and teaches climbing classes at a local gym. A graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, he also holds a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Christian Education and Formation and serves the Presbyterian Church (USA) as a Youth Director. This unique background enables Adam to weave theological and ecological ideas together as he teaches in the pulpit, woods, and everywhere in between. Being rather new to the Leave No Trace community, Adam is most excited about offering volunteer opportunities and building relationships between Leave No Trace and other organizations in Utah.


Avery Chipka

I was born and raised in Vermont. Like many, I departed New England to explore what else was out there, but I always felt my true home was Vermont. After the birth of my daughter the desire to return grew stronger and I have now found my way back to my true home.
While my day job is running an IT Security business my true passion is for outdoor and environment education. I have through hiked both the Appalachian Trail and Vermont Long Trail, and have began the process of doing the Long Trail End to End and Side to Side with my daughter to expose her to the wonders of Vermont Nature that birthed my love for nature. During time away I become a certified Environmental Educator and also become a Leave No Trace Master Educator in 2008. I am also a Certified Interpretive Host through the National Association for Interpretation. In addition to environmental ethics I also teach wilderness survival skills, search & rescue, and wilderness emergency care.
I am very excited about Leave No Trace and would love to share information, activities and materials with you. Hope to hear from you soon!


David Lauthers
Newport News

Greetings everybody! I am very excited to be Virginia’s new State Advocate. I live in Newport News, Virginia and I am retired Navy Chief and I have been involved in the Boy Scouts of America for the past 6 years. My 15 year old son is also a Leave No Trace Trainer.
My first introduction to Leave No Trace was in April 2009 when I took the Leave No Trace Trainer Class in Shenandoah National Park. In May 2011 I took the Leave No Trace Master Educators Course. I have taught Leave No Trace awareness classes at numerous Scouting events and at the shipyard where I work. In March of 2012 I became the Colonial Virginia Council Outdoor Ethics Advocate and have been getting as many youth and adult scouters involved in conservation programs and passing on my knowledge of Leave No Trace. I have organized and taught two Leave No Trace Trainer courses and assisted teaching a Trainer Course in the Raleigh NC Council.
My first goal is to contact all the Trainers and Master Educators In the state and see where they all stand. Are they actively involved, are they teaching and sharing their knowledge, do they need some assistance, and what has worked for them and what hasn’t. What other outdoor groups are they working with that may benefit other trainers in the state. I feel that reaching out to our youth; inside or outside of Scouting is the best way to promote Outdoor Ethics in our communities and to help preserve our great land for future generations.
I encourage anyone in Virginia with an interest in environmental stewardship, responsible outdoor recreation or strengthening the connection between people & nature to contact me.
The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders. - Edward Abbey


Mehgan Herold
Lopez Island

My name is Mehgan Herold and I have a deep love for educating people and their pets on responsible outdoor ethics! An Ohio native, I moved to Washington to pursue a career with Washington State Parks. I am fortunate enough to work as a Senior Park Aide at Spencer Spit State Park, on Lopez Island. As soon as I landed on Lopez, I fell in love with its natural beauty. Orcas, Bald eagles, beaches, crabs, bio luminescence, it filled my heart with wonder and awe. As I discovered new areas of Washington, it became clear to me that this state was unmatched in its environmental diversity. It made me question how can I do my part to protect these unique places. The answer was with Leave No Trace! It all began with an awareness workshop that was conducted by traveling trainers and has grown into my current position as the Leave No Trace Advocate for Washington State. I enjoy teaching the P.E.A.K program as a Junior Ranger activity in the park. I also love hiking, kayaking, backpacking, cycling, sailing, and adventuring with my dog, Toto. I hope to spread the Leave No Trace love throughout the state of Washington and beyond! Please reach out to me if you are interested in bringing Leave No Trace into your community, work, life or heart.

West Virginia

Alexandra Coffman

Alex Coffman is a WVU Extension Agent working with 4-H and youth programming. She grew up in the hills of West Virginia and continues to love the many wilderness areas, raging rivers, and national forests that blanket the state. From hiking to whitewater rafting to cross-country skiing, she loves to get outside anyway she can. Through 4-H, she teaches wilderness classes, outdoor skills, organizes youth rafting trips, bicycles, and, of course, teaches Leave No Trace ethics along the way. She became a LNT Master Educator in August 2017, participating in the canoe course through the Adirondack Mountain Club. While most of West Virginia isn't as "high use" as more populous states, Alex believes that teaching Leave No Trace ethics before wilderness areas lose their wildness is important, too.


Evan Coulson

Evan Coulson, the product of a free-range childhood, grew up exploring the many wonders that abound in his home state of Oregon. Moving to the Midwest during his teen years, Evan continued to find meaning in outdoor experiences while working at a summer camp deep within the heart of the Shawnee National Forest in Southernmost Illinois.

These foundational outdoor experiences propelled Evan into a richly rewarding career as an outdoor professional. Evan pursued studies in Therapeutic Recreation, Outdoor Leadership, and Outdoor Recreation Resource Administration before completing a terminal degree in Forest Recreation. Evan’s academic interests include Recreation Ecology, the study of ecological interrelationships between humans and natural resources in recreation contexts, and the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, which seek to understand, predict and influence human thought and behaviors related to natural resources. These two disciplines form much of the science that informs the principles and practices of Leave No Trace.

As a college professor, Evan teaches courses ranging from outdoor education foundations, teaching techniques and inclusive outdoor education to technical outdoor skill development, wildland stewardship, and expeditionary travel. He has previously served as the Coordinator for Southern Illinois University's outdoor recreation leadership and management program, as the Coordinator of Outdoor Pursuits at Stephen F. Austin State University, as the Outdoor Education and Camping Services Director at Camp Ondessonk, as well as an instructor in various adaptive adventure, wilderness therapy, and outdoor education programs across the country. His professional service activities include work with the Wilderness Education Association, the Association for Experiential Education, the Access Fund, and as the Wisconsin State Advocate for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

Currently at Northland College’s Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute, Evan is committed to helping people form relationships with wild places that lead to their sustained health and wellbeing.


Sara Kirol

I grew up on my family’s small cattle ranch in southern Wyoming. There, I first gained an appreciation for the outdoors through my parents and grandparents. After graduating with a double major in biology and environmental science from Rocky Mountain College in Montana, I worked as an environmental educator/naturalist. This work took me to Wisconsin (where I was first introduced to Leave No Trace) and South Carolina before returning to school. Shortly after graduating from the University of Wyoming with a MS in recreation and park administration, I began working for the Forest Service. My husband, daughter and I now call Sheridan home where we base our explorations of Wyoming’s beautiful outdoors. I am very excited about LNT and would love to share information, activities and materials with you. Hope to hear from you soon!